In our time, cyberspace is an integral part of the lives of many millions of citizens around the world that dive in it for work or just for fun. Our daily life is now occupied by a plethora of user-friendly technology that allow us to have more time for other activities, increase our productivity and have a lot more access to all kinds of information. But it was not always so, and until we reach this stage we went through about 50 years of development. This series of articles will summarize the evolution of different computing models that underpin much of modern life and discuss some of the future trends that will certainly change the way we relate to information technology and interact with each other.
In recent decades, computer technology has undergone a revolution that catapulted us to a growing complexity of effects revealed in a new society and, from a certain point, we started to take for granted the use of all the technology at our disposal, without thinking about the future consequences of our actions. Therefore, amongst all that we take today for granted, cyberspace is near the top of the list. The promise of the Internet for the twenty-first century is to provide everything everywhere, anytime and anywhere. All human achievements, all culture, all the news will be within reach with just one simple mouse click. The history of computers and cyberspace is critical to understanding the contemporary communication and although they do not constitute the only element of communication in the second half of the twentieth century, they must, by virtue of its importance, come first in any credible historical analysis since they were handed a huge set of tasks that go well beyond the realm of communication.
For many internet users, the access to this virtual world is a sure thing but for many others it does not even exist. Despite its exponential growth and its geographical dispersion, the physical distribution of communications networks is still far from being uniform in all regions of the planet. Moreover, the widespread of mobile telecommunications gives cyberspace a character of uniformity which permits an almost complete abstraction of its physical support. The last few years have been a truly explosive growth phase in information technology, particularly the Internet. Following this expansion, the term cyberspace has become commonly used to describe a virtual world that Internet users inhabit when they are online, accessing the most diverse content, playing games or using widely varying interactive services that the Internet provides. But it is crucial to distinguish cyberspace from telematics networks, because there is a widespread conceptual confusion.
Telematics produces distance communication via computer and telecommunications, while cyberspace is a virtual environment that relies on these media to establish virtual relationships. Thus, I believe the Internet, while being the main global telematics network, does not represent the entire cyberspace because this is something larger that can arise from man's relationship with other technologies such as GPS, biometric sensors and surveillance cameras. In reality, cyberspace can be seen as a new dimension of society where social relationships networks are redefined through new flows of information.
We can visit a distant museum in the comfort of our home, or access any news of a newspaper published thousands of miles away, with a simple mouse click on our computer. Thus, it becomes necessary to think about a regulation of this area in the sake of the common good of the planet. The economy of cyberspace has no mechanism of self-regulation that limits its growth so the current key issues for business are getting cheap energy and keep the transmission times in milliseconds. Revenues from services like Facebook and YouTube are not derived from costs to users so, from the user's point of view, cyberspace is free and infinite. As long as people don't feel any cost in cyberspace usage, they will continue to use it without any restrictions and this is will some become unbearable.
Therefore, the purpose of these articles is to present a brief analysis of the rise and transformations through which these machines and associated technologies have undergone in recent decades, directly affecting the lives of human beings and their work and communication processes.